My friend and I had just finished speaking to a great group of women at First Baptist Lubbock. We needed to drive to Possum Kingdom Lake to lead a prayer retreat there. For those of you reading this who are unfamiliar with the landscape we call West Texas, let me just say, you have missed an adventure. When we lived in Atlanta we could hop in our car, drive north for a couple of hours, and we would be in a different state. Sunday, we hopped in our car, left Lubbock, and two hours later we had only passed one Dairy Queen – and that was right outside of Lubbock. We drove about five hours, past ranches, farms, oil wells and hundreds of those huge wind things that Warren Buffett thought would be a great idea. About three hours into the drive, as we were on Farm Road Whatever, I told my friend that if we blew a tire, or broke down and needed assistance, we would be up a creek without a paddle. AAA would probably not reach us for at least a day and a half. I felt like one of the Israelites, wandering in the wilderness without food, water and cell phone coverage. We plugged our destination into the GPS and she told us she would try – but there were some roads that were not on her radar. Sometimes her voice fell silent, as if she was saying, “You got yourself into this mess and you will have to get yourself out.” I was just about to chase down a hay truck and ask directions when her voice chimed in, “Make the next left turn.” That road didn’t look any better than the one I was on – but I was glad for the hope. Finally we emerged from the wilderness onto a road I recognized. We passed through a West Texas metropolis, which means a traffic light, a Dairy Queen AND a gas station. The GPS woman practically shouted, “I know where you are now!” And I breathed a sigh of relief. What was lost – was found.
These past days have been a good time to be away from home, to think, pray and walk through God’s landscape. The ladies at this retreat chose to step away from their busy schedules and spend time with God, listening for his direction. It is good to “be still and know he is God” because when we live such a fast paced life, it is easy for other things to become gods. Our heavenly Father always knows where we need to go – and He knows exactly how we are to get there. There are times when God sets us on a clear highway but other times, it feels like one of those West Texas farm roads. Sometimes we have no trouble knowing his voice, but occasionally there are periods of silence. The silence just means we need to keep going – the turn onto the more familiar road is ahead, but it may take awhile to get there.
I enjoyed getting to know the ladies on this retreat. God created us to need friends – and He equips us to be friends to one another. One woman gave me a small book of prayers she has written. God led her down one of those wilderness roads – but she learned a lot about his call in her life while she made that journey. Mary Ann wrote this poem and I asked her if I could share it with you all. These words were written from the heart of someone who knows God, and has made Jesus her Lord. I thought it would bless you and give you some thoughtful direction for your day.
your presence envelope me, to tune into my eternal security, for “you are the same yesterday, today and forever.”
Resting in you is the way that I bring meaning to my day. I choose to spend time with you alone today,
experiencing all of who you are through your word and your presence.
With you, I know the way will open up step by step until I can arise from the stillness of our time together
and begin the day’s journey. Today, I choose to hold your hand in
deliberate dependence on you – so you can smooth out the path before me.